South Africa Energy Minister Rejects Western Dictates & Hypocrisy Against Africa’s Use of Energy Resources

Fossil fuels kill, but hunger kills faster, Mantashe tells conference

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe

The paucity of energy in sub-Saharan Africa is killing Africans every day. South Africa Energy Minister Mantashe has continually rejected demands by Western nations and their political-financial institutions for African nations not to exploit their own natural resources. To improve the living conditions of their citizens, African nations must industrialize their economies, which necessitates exploiting every resource available. Not only are these dictates an infringement on the sovereignty of African nations, but those in the West, who are trying to prevent Africa’s energy utilization, are contributing to poverty, hunger, and loss of life.

Reported on October 4, from news24.com

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe says the African continent should not be dictated to when it comes to the pace of its energy transition. This as a R150 billion funding deal from rich countries to help fund South Africa’s transition from coal hangs in the balance.

In an address to the 2022 Africa Oil Week in Cape Town on Tuesday, Mantashe said the war in Ukraine has hit developing economies with high energy costs, along with increasing food prices and interest rates.

He said the climate change question “sits uncomfortably with energy poverty”, adding that the pressure on African economies to decarbonize quickly will expose it to the risk that its people will not have access to reliable and affordable energy if handled with haste.

“Africa must determine its pathway from high carbon emissions to low carbon emissions. It must take into account our developmental needs, & must not be dictated to by anybody else who is at a different level of development.”

“I see the protests outside this venue that said ‘fossil fuels a killer’, but I can tell you that hunger kills faster”.

“We have seen the increase of coal purchasing from us to EU growing eightfold, 780%. As they take our coal, they at the same time tell us to move out of it quickly. That is a contradiction that Africa must look at,” he said.

Read entire article here from news24.com

Originally posted below by africanagenda.net

Read below earlier posts from my website on this subject:

South Africa and China Articulate Principles for Global Development at United Nations

Nigerian VP: Osinbajo “Climate Justice Must Include Ending Energy Poverty” Especially for Sub-Saharan Africa

African Nations Desperately Need Energy for Economic Growth

South African Activist Campaigns for Nuclear Energy For Africa: Essential for Industrialization

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

South Africa and China Articulate Principles for Global Development at United Nations

Minister Naledi Pandor of South Africa speaking before the UNGA (courtesy of voaafrica.com),

September 27, 2022

In her address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 21, Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation for South Africa, made an invaluable contribution. While many speakers at the assembly discussed important topics, she, along with Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, identified economic development as the crucial principle that the UNGA has to address. (See excerpts of their remarks below).

Unfortunately, the majority of leaders throughout the world have failed to understand the essentiality of promoting economic development as a strategic solution to war, and insecurity, and the only pathway to achieving lasting peace. Leaders of the West, especially from the U.S. , have failed to grasp this elementary concept elaborated by John Paul VI, when he wrote, development is the new name for peace. (1)

Unlike the last four generations of U.S. presidents, Franklin Roosevelt, did understand that the policy of promoting economic development is a strategic means of obtaining peace in the world. President Roosevelt organized for the creation of the United Nations (UN) as an integral component of his post war Grand Design, which most emphatically included the dismantling of the British empire. His proposed composition of nations to lead the UN, (U.S. Russia, China, and Great Britain) was an attempt to isolate the British and their imperialist policies. President Roosevelt discussed with his son, his vision for the UN, which was coherent with his intent of the Atlantic Charter and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. To wit: improving conditions of life in underdeveloped nations by fostering economic growth. He said to Elliott,

“These great powers will have to assume the task of bringing education, raising the standards of living, improving health conditions—of all the backward depressed areas of the world.”

Tragically for the world, President Roosevelt died before the inauguration of the UN, and the small minded, easily manipulated, Harry Truman, became U.S. President. In a brief time after assuming office, President Truman, embracing the diseased British geopolitical mindset, negated President Roosevelt’s vision to construct a better world with all nations participating in progress and prosperity. Civilization has paid dearly for the reversal of President Roosevelt’s paradigm.

Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill discussing the Atlantics Charter at the Argentia conference.

Minister Pandor Echoes Roosevelt

In her presentation before the UNGA, Minister Pandor said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Eastern Europe shape our attitudes today; however, for South Africa, the real inflection point will be the world attending fully to the needs of the marginalized  and forgotten.

Our greatest global challenges are poverty, inequality, joblessness and feeling excluded… addressing poverty and underdevelopment will be the beginnings of the real inflection point in human history.

Global solidarity is also required to meet other pressing challenges such as energy and food insecurity, climate change and the devastation caused by conflicts, including the existential threat of nuclear weapons.

Instead of working collectively to address these challenges, we have grown further apart as geopolitical tensions and mistrust permeate our relations.

We should, however, move forward in solidarity, united in efforts to address our common global challenges to ensure sustainable peace and development.” (Emphasis added).

To read full transcript on Minister Pandor’s presentation at the UNGA: Click here.

Eliminate Poverty

In his address before the UNGA on September 24, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, echoed the theme of peace through development, highlighting the importance of eliminating poverty. He told the assembly,

“We must pursue development and eliminate poverty.

Development holds the key to resolving difficult issues and delivering a happy life to our people. We should place development at the center of the international agenda, build international consensus on promoting development, and uphold all countries’ legitimate right to development. We should foster new drivers for global development, forge a global development partnership, and see that everyone in every country benefits more from the fruits of development in a more equitable way.

China has been a contributor to global development…China is a pacesetter in implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It has met the poverty reduction goal ten years ahead of the envisioned timeframe and accounts for 70 percent of the gains in global poverty reduction. It has provided development aid to more than 160 countries in need, and extended more debt-service payments owed by developing countries than any other G20 member state.” (Emphasis added).

To read the full transcript of Minister Wang Yi: Click here

(1) Encyclical , Populorium progressio, March 26, 1967.

Read my earlier posts:

British Colonial Legacy Still Plaguing African Nations Today

Roosevelt: Last Great American Statesman With A Grand Vision for Africa

For the Development of Africa: Know and Apply Franklin Roosevelt’s Credit Policy

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

British Colonial Legacy Still Plaguing African Nations Today

(courtesy of npr.org)

September 22. 2022

The British Empire should have expired an ignoble death after World War II, and the monarchy disbanded. I believe that if President Franklin Roosevelt had his druthers, that was his intention.

In her article below, my colleague, Nancy Spannaus, creator of the website, americansystemnow.com provides a glimpse of President Roosevelt’s displeasure with British imperialism. President Roosevelt was especially distressed by British treatment of people in the underdeveloped sector, especially Africa. He wanted to develop Africa with American System policies of economic growth after the war. Sadly, President Roosevelt died, before he could implement his Grand Design.

During recent weeks, much of the world was focused  on the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the coronation of King Charles III. While people were subjected to nonstop media coverage of ceremonial pomp and celebration of the British monarchy, Africans and true friends of Africa have nothing to celebrate. There should be nothing but shame for the horrific inhumane practices by the British monarchy in Africa.

The British Empire did no good for the Africa, which it dominated through its imperialist power. Its repulsive brutality in conquering and maintaining its rule in Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), Ghana, and Nigeria to name a few nations, is well documented. Its divide and conquer tactics are infamous. This included its promotion of ethnicity and manipulating ethnic groups against each other to keep nations divided as a means to prevent them from achieving sovereignty. The ugly legacy of British colonialism is evident in Africa today, where Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa are still suffering internal political discord resulting from British rule, as evidenced in recent elections.

As colonialism dominated Africa in the twentieth century following the Berlin Conference, the British Empire became the foremost imperialist force on the continent. It murdered African people, plundered their resources, intentionally thwarted industrialization, and set up structures to prevent Africans from realizing their full economic sovereignty after the Winds of Change swept through the continent.

Is it not nobler for us today, to advocate for the dismantling of the British monarchy instead of mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth, who oversaw the barbaric treatment of Africans in the twentieth century.

This post is not meant to provide a detailed history of British Colonialism in Africa. Additional articles on this subject are available on this website.

Read my earlier posts:

Roosevelt: Last Great American Statesman With A Grand Vision for Africa

For the Development of Africa: Know and Apply Franklin Roosevelt’s Credit Policy

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

TPLF Must Be Disarmed In Ethiopia Now! “A House Divided Cannot Stand” Abraham Lincoln

September 15, 2022

Please watch my timely interviews from last week that provide crucial analysis of Ethiopia’s current dynamic.

One of America’s greatest leader and a hero of mine, Abraham Lincoln, famously said in a 1858 speech while campaigning for the U.S. Senate in Illinois: “A house divided cannot stand.” A everyone knows he was referring to the division in the United Sates between the North and Southern states over the right to maintain slaves as property. After four years of a bloody Civil War (1861-1865), in which upwards of 750,000 Americans died, President Lincoln secured the Union against the separatist southern rebels. Ethiopia will not survive as a nation providing for the welfare of its people, with armed ethnic groups claiming the right to defend their so called ethno-nation against the elected government. 

In Ethiopia today, we are not dealing with a nation separated by slavery, but one divided by so called ethno-nationalism. It should be understood that all Ethiopians are citizens of the Republic of Ethiopia, which is not an amalgam of ethnic groups, but a nation-state, with a common mission for all its people. It is anti-Ethiopian and anti-human to define human beings by hereditary blood lines and geography. It is a degradation of the human species, which is exclusively defined by it unique power of creative mentation.

The on again-off again a military campaign against the the nation of Ethiopia is meant to destabilize and  weaken the central government, to prevent it from it stated mission; eliminating poverty. Therefore, the TPLF should not be allowed to maintain its military as if Tigray was an actual nation. Tigray is not a nation-state; Ethiopia is!  All honest members of the international community, especially those espousing support for democracy, must insist on the disarmament of the TPLF and then reintegration. To do otherwise, is in effect, providing support for maintaining the TPLF as a manipulatable and deployable military force against the Republic of Ethiopia.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Are External Forces Emboldening the TPLF to Launch “Permanent War” Against Ethiopia?

“There’re elites who want to manipulate Ethiopia’s policies,” Lawrence Freeman, Political-Economic Analyst for Africa

Read interview: Ethiopian Herald,  September 3, 2022 

Lawrence Freeman is a well-known Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. Over the years, he has been an outspoken critic of western intervention in Ethiopian internal political affairs, he is known for his strong commentary and opinion in relation with the TPLF-provoked war in Ethiopia. The political and economist analyst has sat down with The Ethiopian Herald’s Worku Belachew on WhatsApp, to talk about Ethiopia’s current and wide-range of affairs. The following is the excerpt of the full interview.

I really appreciate your willingness for this interview. Previously, the terrorist TPLF confiscated humanitarian trucks and they used it for war purposes. But the international community’s response seems very weak. What do you comment on this?

Well, the international community’s response is very weak. They have made some comments on it. But this is because the United States and the West in particular do not want to see the TPLF defeated, disarmed and basically pacified, that made passive, they want to keep the TPLF. And this whole question of ethnic nationalism, which is a false concept. They want to keep that alive as a permanent feature, to continue to undermine the government of Prime Minister Abiy.

This is a way of destabilizing the country, and keeping it on defensive and preventing it from moving forward. And therefore, they continued arming, or allowing the TPLF to be armed. This means that the TPLF can continually make military campaigns into other parts of Ethiopia. And therefore, Ethiopia could be under conditions of permanent warfare, where they are permanently under attack than ceasefire, then attack by the TPLF. And this will destabilize the nation if not lead to further destruction of the nation of Ethiopia.

So what purpose do those elements as you’ve mentioned serve with their path of destruction?

If you understand the larger context of the international forces, from the very beginning of the conflict, going back to November 2020, the State Department and the United States government and then more emphatically, after President Biden took office in January, with Secretary Blinken, as head of the State Department, they continually attacked the Ethiopian government sanctioned, removed from AGOA accused of human rights abuses, ethnic cleansing genocide, none of which were ever proven.

There were just accusations developed by the media which the US government adopted. So this has been going on for almost two years now. And you have certain geopolitical forces oligarchical political financial elite, that don’t want to see a stable Ethiopia, they want to see a weakened Ethiopia. And they want to see an Ethiopia that is not fully in control of its own policies. These international political elites can manipulate the situation, control the situation and have policies that they want them in place.

Back in January of 2021, they have allowed this conflict to spread; they have supported the TPLF through giving blind eyes to their crimes. On the flipside, they attack the elected government of Ethiopia. The TPLF is getting support and encouragement to continue these actions. And they will continue these actions until they are disarmed.

There are reports coming out on child soldiers recruited, trained and deployed for war purposes by the terrorist TPLF. Various organizations that claim to work for human rights protection are soft on the issues. Why are they soft on these issues in your opinion?

The human rights’ organizations are not honest. They use human rights as a weapon, just like the State Department, is using democracy as a weapon to maintain the geopolitical control of the Horn of Africa and Africa as a whole. They are not concerned about human rights. They are concerned about packing and labeling various forces as violators of human rights. And therefore, there’s no honesty and there’s no integrity in their evaluation. They can see obvious crimes, such as the one you’re mentioning of child soldiers, but they are not interested in dealing with that problem, identifying that problem, because they have a different agenda.

In fact, some people have called the human rights organizations, “the Human Rights mafia”, or “human rights imperialist”, because human rights have become a political weapon. It is not an actual honest evaluation of human rights violation. For example, if you are concerned about human rights, then you will be concerned about the right to people to live, to economically have opportunities for the growth of the economy so that a human right is the right of food, is the right to eat, is the right to have electricity.

None of these human rights groups support that. They simply choose and pick and choose when they want to make a propaganda issue that is used to attack a particular government or a particular organization. They are not real in my view, I do not accept them as honest or authoritative, and how they determine human rights abuses.

Most in the international community were condemning the humanitarian fuel theft. But could they go even farther than condemning this act, just making TPLF accountable for this humanitarian atrocity?

Well, it is very serious. The fact that the TPLF apparently, I cannot verify every fact but, they took over half a million liters of fuel, and are using it for their own purposes. Now, they took the fuel from the World Food Program, which is a very serious offense, because the WFP, whose director is David Beasley, is a very important organization in terms of supplying food to areas around the world where people are suffering. And therefore, moving fuel from their warehouses or their depots is very serious. It undermines and undercuts a fairly important initiative; I think the WFP is part of the United Nations as well. So this is very serious, and indicates the fact that the TPLF is not going to give up, they are continuing to maintain their aggressive policy.

Now, I do not believe that they think even that they can win the conflict. That is they cannot overthrow the government of Ethiopia. But they want to weaken the government. And they want to establish a permanent capability of attacking the government. There are outside forces, which in the region, and outside of Africa, who are manipulating the perverted mindset of the TPLF, that they have a nation of Tigray.

There is only one nation as Ethiopia, but they are claiming that their region is a nation and they have a right to be owned and defended. My view is, without encouragement and support, that the TPLF would not launch these kinds of reckless, damaging campaigns. And until they are stopped, I believe they will continue this process. And this will become a permanent destabilization of the nation of Ethiopia and prevent Ethiopia from realizing its aspiration, which are identified, typified by what they have done with the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Ethiopia wants to develop economically. But, it is being held back by the permanent war mentality of the Ethno nationalist TPLF.

Some commentators say the western community in general lacks proper understanding as to the prevailing condition in Ethiopia, particularly the fact that taxes they are paying are channeled through aid organizations are being repurposed for war by the TPLF. Do you buy the argument?

The overwhelming majority of Americans has no understanding of much of what goes on in Africa, and have no understanding of what is going on in Ethiopia. I mean, at the beginning of the conflict, going back to November and December of 2020, January, February, March of 2021, the media, led by CNN, but all the media launched a massive propaganda campaign. That is what the American public heard over and over. They also repeated and acted on foolishly by President Joe Biden. So they only know what they read in immediate. And otherwise, they know very little about what is going on extremely little. In fact, the United States, American culture has shrunk. And we no longer think about the rest of the world, we no longer have a vision for development of poor countries in Africa and other countries.

The concept that we used to have had many decades ago, even under John F. Kennedy, was to help these countries and to assist them in development. But we no longer have that concern. And USAID does provide a lot of food and other assistance. But that is not sufficient. That is not going to change in Africa.

We need actual economic development, investment in infrastructure, electricity, where roads food production, which China is doing some and other countries are doing some, but the United States is doing nothing. And the human right is a means of political control. It is not intended to actually uplift the population out of poverty. So the American people really know nothing about what is happening in this external world or know nothing about how the United States policy is functioning. I am an expert in the area. And I know the United States is not interested in a stable Ethiopia and is not interested in helping Ethiopia and other nations develop their industrial manufacturing and agricultural capabilities.

What is your message for some silent and sober voices in the US, including the majority of Americans and those in the Congress who want peace to prevail in the Horn of Africa so that the US interest is also protected?

Well, unfortunately, we do not have a good understanding of what the US interest is. It is been perverted over many administrations, both Republicans and Democrats.

And if we do not take action now, then Africa will be inundated maybe with a billion young people who will not have jobs, who will see a potential for future in the country. And this becomes a very dangerous problem for the society. But the interest of the United States people and the interest of the United States government are to develop African nations, we should be committing long term credit, billions of dollars to build where we are connecting the continent, we should be investing in real productive energy such as nuclear energy across the African continent.

But the United States leadership has lost any understanding of what our true interest is in the world. The government of the United States is dominated by geo political thinking, how do we and the West remain on top in the world, they view the world is fixed. And there are winners and losers. And you can see it in the strategy for Africa paper that just came out from the administration. You can see it, Secretary Blinken visit, everything we’re doing in Africa, is designed to maintain our hegemony or attempt to maintain our hegemony against Russia and in particular, against China.

The American population is poorly educated, and has a poor understanding of what the true self interest of the United States is in Africa, because Africa is thriving, industrialized economies that become a major market for our advanced, technologically advanced capital goods sector. That will increase the job growth in the United States, it would raise the standard of living in United States, as well as raise the standard of living in Africa. But this is not understood. We are not concerned about alleviating the suffering of African people. What we care about is maintaining geopolitical control.

Let me make it my last question. Regarding multilateral organizations, including the UN, WHO chief is abusing his position and implicitly and explicitly throwing support behind TPLF. What is your take on this?

Well, yes, this is very serious. There is a report that the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres was involved and one or more private discussions with the TPLF. Finally, if that is true, and it appears it is, this is a very serious problem. TPLF is carrying out a treasonous war to overthrow the government, the elected government, the democratically elected government of the Prosperity Party, and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. So, why would a secretary general of the UN be discussing with a militant armed militia who is trying to overthrow a government of Ethiopia and Ethiopia is a long standing member of the United Nations organization, how is that possible?

There should be no discussions. Certainly, there should be no private discussions. Ethiopia is a nation state, a member of the United Nations. TPLF is an armed militia that is trying to overthrow a government of a member state of the United Nations.

There has to be investigation, what was discussed on these calls? And why are private discussions going on with groups trying to overthrow a member state? And we also have to question Dr. Tedros’s comments as an official of the World Health Organization which is associated with the United Nations. How is it possible that he continues to make comments in support of the TPLF when he is representing himself as one of the most powerful international organizations? These are very serious problems and have to be fully investigated, because that they do show exactly what had been discussing that there is a very pronounced tool in the international community in support of the TPLF and undermining the government of the nation state of Ethiopia.

Thank you very much, Mr. Lawrence.

Please watch (below) my half hour interview on Addis Media Network from September 1, 2022,

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Is Democracy Being Weaponized Against Russia and China in new US-Africa Strategy?

September 2, 2022

Please watch my provocative interview (click above) on the Lambom Show, conducted by Lambert Mbom, on the subject of the the new US-Africa Strategy, released by U.S. State Department on August 8, 2022. In our hour long discussion, we go into depth about the implications of President Biden’s policy for the lives of Africans. My contention is that the U.S. strategy is seriously flawed because it focus on imposing western democracy does not serve the interest of Africans, who desperately need assistance in improving their abysmal conditions of life. This will require billions of dollars of investment credits in infrastructure to facilitate the development of industrialized African nations, which is not part of this strategy. Unfortunately, rather than addressing seriously the requirements for economic development, Biden’s strategy for Africa, like that of his predecessors, is couched in the geopolitical framework of maligning Russia and China. Lambert and I agreed that a renaissance of new ideas for the development of Africa is needed.

Read my earlier post: Blinken Implores for West’s “Rules Based Order”-South Africa & Rwanda Push Back

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Blinken Implores for West’s “Rules Based Order”-South Africa & Rwanda Push Back

Review of Biden’s US-Africa Strategy

What Is True Democracy?

August 29, 2022

Minister Naledi Pandor, Secretary Blinken, President Cyril Ramaphosa (Courtesy thehindu.com)

  1. Blinken’s Flawed Trip to Africa

Secretary of State, Antony Blinken’s six day visit to three sub-Saharan African nations, despite assertions to the contrary, was an attempt to strengthen U.S. geopolitical interests on the continent. Blinken traveled to South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda from August 7-12, in an effort to counter the growing influence of Russia and China in Africa. This is obvious to all serious analysts of U.S.-Africa strategy. His trip was proceeded a week earlier by U.S. ambassador to the United Nation, Linda Thomas Greenfield, who visited Uganda, Cape Verde, and Ghana. The U.S. is desperately trying to regain its authority to use African nations as pawns in its geopolitical war against its self-declared China, and Russia.

China’s positive impact on African nations is ever-present. China has invested  and built more vitally necessary hard infrastructure projects in Africa than the entire Group of Seven combined. As a result, it has become the most favored nation among African youth. The U.S. has admitted that it cannot compete with China economically in Africa, even as it attempts to feebly counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The lack of support for President Biden’s war against Russia was a harsh wake up call. U.S. administration officials were stunned at the March 2  U.N. General Assembly vote, when almost half-48% of the African nations refused to condemn Russia for invading Ukraine. Of the 54 African nations, 17 abstained, 8 did not vote, and Eritrea voted against the resolution. The same sentiment was repeated in April at the U.N. when only 10 African nations supported the removal of Russia from the Human Rights Council.

Secretary Blinken’s trip to Africa occurred two weeks after Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov’s African tour of Egypt, Uganda, Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopia.

A major purpose for Secretary Blinken’s second visit to the sub-continent within ten months was to release the new U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, though there is little new substance in this strategy. It reiterates the Biden administration’s intention to “weaponize democracy” against China and Russia.

Blinken’s International Order Challenged

In his opening remarks at a joint-press-availability on August 8, with South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, Secretary Blinken defensively stated that the U.S. does not view the African continent as “the latest playing field in the competition between great powers.” However, the content of his trip displayed otherwise.

The “international order,” which Secretary Blinken embodied on his three nation tour was rebuked often. In response to Blinken’s denunciation of Russia’s aggression, Minister Pandor raised the unfair and unequal treatment of the Palestinians,

“Just as much as the people of Ukraine deserve their territory and freedom, the people of Palestine deserve their territory and freedom. And we should be equally concerned at what is happening to the people of Palestine as we are with what is happening to the people of Ukraine.

We’ve not seen an even-handed approach in the utilization of the prescripts of international law, and we encourage that the world should have greater attention to ensuring that we are equal to everybody else.”

In response to a question from the Washington Post concerning U.S. efforts to get African nations to choose between China and Russia, and the West, Minister Pandor used what is considered strong diplomatic language against bullying sovereign nations,

“So indeed, it is important that all of us accept our ability to hold different opinions. We are, after all, sovereign nations that are regarded as equal in terms of the United Nations Charter…And one thing I definitely dislike is being told ‘either you choose this or else.’  When a minster speaks to me like that…some have, I definitely will not be bullied in that way, nor would I expect any other African country worth its salt to agree to be treated. (Emphasis added)

So, this fear [about Russia]that we exist under some push is…a really unfounded belief in the relationship that we have with either country. And we’ve been quite clear in saying we really advocate peace [between Russia and Ukraine] because we knew what would happen. We knew there’d be destruction, there’d be death, there’d be desolation. And that’s what we’re all seeing. And what we’ve always asked is: where is this [war] going to end? Let us make every effort to get peace.” (Emphasis added)

Pandor Advocates US-China Cooperation

In her closing remarks Minister Pandor identified interference by external forces and the looting of Africa’s resources as contributing to the instability of African nations. She concluded by calling for cooperation between the U.S. and China to achieve economic growth,

“But to come in and seek to teach a country that we know how democracy functions and we’ve come to tell you, you do it, it’ll work for you – I think it leads to defeat, so we need to think in different ways.

“I also think that…one of the experiences we should draw lessons from is the reality that there has been a lot of external interference in Africa. And a lot of that external interference has fueled conflict in many African countries, has fueled instability and supported opposition groups against liberation fighters and so on…This is a reality.

“It’s a world phenomenon which results from Africa’s rich mineral wealth that has made it a significant target of external players that don’t always have the interests of Africa at heart.

“We can’t be made party to conflict between China and the United States of America, and I may say it does cause instability for all of us because it affects the global economic system. We really hope that the United States and China will arrive a point of rapprochement where all of us can look to economic development and growth for all our countries because that’s extremely important for all of us. They’ve got to find a way of working together to allow us to grow.” (Emphasis added.)

I fully support and would highlight Minister Pandor’s perspective. If the U.S. and China adopted the shared mission to collaborate with African nations in achieving elevated rates of real economic growth; poverty and hunger could be eliminated on the continent, along with instability.

Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Biruta (Courtesy of allfrica.com)

Rwanda Defends Its Sovereignty

Secretary Blinken’s last stopover was Rwanda, where, after meeting with President Kagame, he spoke at a joint-press-availability with Rwandan Foreign Minister, Vincent Biruta. During their exchange, Minister Biruta defended Rwanda’s sovereignty regarding the trial of Paul Rusesabagina.

When asked about the incarceration of Mr. Rusesabagina, Minister Biruta insisted that he was tried and convicted  for crimes committed against Rwandan citizens. He was arrested “lawfully under both Rwandan and international laws. Therefore, Rwanda will continue to abide by our rules, and the decisions that were made by our judiciary. And we request our partners to respect Rwanda’s sovereignty, Rwanda’s laws, and its institutions.”

Secretary Blinken then responded with two veiled threats. First, he threatened to use the Khashoggi Ban to impose visa restrictions on individuals and their families whom the US has deemed to have participated in persecution against dissidents.

“We established what is called the Khashoggi Ban to make clear that any country that engages in repressive actions against those who criticize it, if those persons are in the United States, they face consequences for those actions.”

Second, Secretary Blinken slyly indicated that how Rwanda deals with this issue could affect future relations with Rwanda.

I’ve shared all of this with President Kagame today [concerns about Rusesabagina]. It’s not for me to characterize his response, but these are concerns that I shared. And I did that, again, in the context of making clear our desire for an even stronger, even more productive relationship between the United States and Rwanda, building on what Rwanda has done so successfully, building on what we’ve already done together. But these are issues that we care deeply about, our Congress cares deeply about, the American people care deeply about.”

Minister Biruta was unperturbed by Secretary Blinken’s comments.

  1. U.S. Strategy Not Addressing Africa’s Interests

Acknowledging the global role of Africa for the remainder of this century, President Biden issued a new U.S. Strategy Towards Sub-Saharan Africa.. The document fact sheet US Strategy Toward sub Saharan Africa identifies the geopolitical reasoning that compelled U.S. to respond to the growing influence of China and Russia. To wit: the continent has almost one third of the planet’s reserves of critical minerals; an advantageous location for international trade, contiguous to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and the Gulf of Eden; a regional voting bloc of 28% of the nations that comprise the United Nations; and the fastest growing population in the world.

Contrary to claims by the U.S. that its new policy is to promote democracy in Africa, the geopolitical intent of this administration’s policy for Africa is revealed in the document’s second page under the title, Strategic Environment. Here the U.S. nakedly exposes its strategy to use the African continent as another arena for its war against China and Russia. It states:

“The People’s Republic of China (PRC), by contrast, sees the region as an important arena to challenge the rules-based international order, advance its own narrow commercial and geopolitical interests, undermine transparency and openness, and weaken U.S. relations with African peoples and governments. Russia views the region as a permissive environment for parastatals and private military companies, often fomenting instability for strategic and financial benefit. Russia uses its security and economic ties, as well as disinformation, to undercut Africans’ principled opposition (sic) to Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine and related human rights abuses.”

President Biden’s Africa strategy was released during Secretary Blinken’s stay in South Africa and consist of four main objectives.

George Soros, founder of the infamous Open Society Foundation. (Courtesy of opindia.com)

Its first listed objective, Foster Openness and Open Societies, wastes no time in maligning Russia and China, attempting to recruit African nations to U.S. geopolitical doctrine. It states: “Open Societies are generally more inclined to work in common cause with the United Statesand counter harmful activities by the People’s Republic of China and Russia.” (Emphasis added.)Coincidentally or not, Open Society is the name of George Soros’ infamous global organization, which has been identified in numerous regime-change movements throughout the world, including in Russia and China.

Secretary Blinken’s trip was an attempt to cajole African nations to create so called open societies, respect Western rule of law, and follow the Western democracy model. This is recognized as a weak effort to counter the impact of Russia and China, especially China’s commitment to expansion of hard infrastructure across the African continent.

Principles, Not A Rules Based Order

President Biden and Secretary Blinken insist that African nations and the rest of the world must behave according to their rules-based international order and their notion of democracy. If nations fail to comply, they will be punished, by war, sanctions, or threats of both.

Who’s ruled-based order is it anyway? Who has determined these rules? The mantra of the rules-based order is an extension of the West’s adherence to their dangerous and destructive geopolitical doctrine. A doctrine that reduces national interest to vying for power in a zero-sum competition in an unchanging, non-developing world. However, nations and people are not fixed objects to be moved around according to the whims of the most powerful, like pieces on a chessboard. Nations and people are not to be regimented to perform according to a set of rules of dos and don’ts that is contrary to the real principles of freedom and democracy.

To understand the living sovereign nation-state and its relationship to other nations, we must first answer the question, what makes human beings, human?

Human beings unlike any other living species we know, are endowed with a creative imagination, the power to discover, and hypothesize the principles governing the physical universe. Economic progress is the result of scientific discoveries and their realization through modern technologies that transform modes of economic production from lower to higher forms of productivity.

All human beings are born with this same potential for creative thought bequeathed by the Creator. Human creativity is a principle coherent with the universe’s own living, non-linear growth process. Human beings seek to enrich their lives by contributing to the progress of civilization. Thus, all members of humankind are identical in their potential for creative thought, and similarly, the true interest of each nation is also identical. Nations exist to protect and foster this creative power in each of its citizens.

Understanding these profound and provable elemental concepts of human nature is the foundation for creating a lawful, just, and harmonious world order. One that is premised on the self-interest of each nation promoting the development of each member of its population.

True Democracy

The Biden administration is obsessed with the word democracy, labeling this or that nation and this or that activity, democratic or undemocratic. Shamefully, neither President Biden nor Secretary Blinken have an actual understanding of how a democracy should function. If they did, they would have made economic development the focus of all four objectives of their U.S.-Africa Strategy. By economic development, I contend that it is only  those policies that lead to an increased standard of living for an expanding number of people. (As understood by Alexander Hamilton, Friedrich List, Henry Carey, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and echoed by Kwame Nkrumah, among others.)

Democracy is an empty construct unless it emphatically includes the right and responsibility of the population to debate and discuss what are the most appropriate ideas to guide the future of their nation. I was reminded during a recent trip to Boston, Massachusetts that prior to the American Revolution, there were Town Hall gatherings of thousands of residents to discuss their freedom from British rule.

Democracy cannot be denigrated to simply encompassing elections good governance. True democracy requires an educated citizenry with a material standard of living and leisure time to think and reflect on the best policy for their nation, which will affect their children and grandchildren. Does the public have the opportunity to deliberate on the best direction for their nation for the next one to two generations? What policies will lead to an improved standard of living for future generations, deserves to be fully debated by thoughtful citizens. Intelligent discussion of ideas, a process unique to human beings, is primary in a true democracy. Otherwise, what is one voting for, or about?

Poverty in West Africa increasing, Food insecurity is affecting millions of people.  (Courtesy of UNICEF/Vincent Treameau)

Without Development, Democracy Cannot Exist

For Africans to participate in democracy they musts be allowed to apply their creative minds to determine their future, the future of their nation. This is not possible if hunger and poverty remain pervasive throughout the continent. Over 500 million Africans live in extreme poverty-less than $2 per day. Over 600 million Africans do not have access to an electric grid, and millions more only have access for a portion of the day.

If a parents’ primary concern is searching for food to feed their family or hustling each day to subsist in the informal economy, there is no time to think. Under conditions dominated by survival, focused on the here and now, one is not in the state of mind to seriously ponder the nation’s future. If there is not sufficient room in a dwelling to raise a family, then both adults and children do not have the space and quiet time to read and educate themselves. If one does not have access to electricity 24 hours a day, how can one read when there is no sun light? How many schools and libraries exist for education of children and adults? Do the majority of Africans have the time, space, and comfortable lifestyle to meet with friends and neighbors to examine the issues facing their nation today and tomorrow?

Fulfilling these basic pressing human needs are categorically essential, for the realization of democracy. They are not optional. For decades, the U.S. has lectured Africans about democracy but with its anti-development agenda, has shown no interest in actually creating the conditions for it to thrive. Secretary Blinken’s and President Biden’s promotion of democracy to counter their perceived enemies will fail to achieve its goal. More importantly, it will fail the people of Africa. Democracy in the truest sense will not exist unless, and until, there is a full-throttled state-led mobilization of all resources to create an economic transformation across the African continent. If this is not advocated by the U.S. government, its like-minded “pro-democracy” institutions, NGOs, think-tanks, and institutes, then they must cease their endless preaching, or be exposed as frauds. Then all they are left with is “a sounding of brass or a clanging cymbal.”  

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Freeman Analyzes Resumption of War Against the Ethiopian Nation

August 27, 2022

The article above, excerpted from my interview with the Ethiopian News Agency does not report on the totality of my remarks, which included my thoughts on the national dialogue and the need for the government to articulate a national mission to unite all the people of Ethiopia as citizens, not members of an ethnicity.

Read my earlier posts:

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Freeman Interview: “Living Conditions in Africa Today Are Morally, Politically, and Economically Unacceptable”

Listen to my 45 minute radio interview: TNT Interview With Lawrence Freeman July 13, 2022, beginning at 5 minutes 50 seconds

July 16, 2022

I discussed the following subjects concerning Africa:

*Unacceptable living conditions in Africa today

*Fraud of the “green transition” to prevent industrialization

*Importance of China’s infrastructure investment in Africa

*Lack of U.S. development policy for Africa

*Current destabilization of Ethiopia using ethnicity

*Potential of BRICS plus

Listen to 45 minute discussion on TNT Radio Interview With Lawrence Freeman July 13, 2022

Read my earlier posts:

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Dark Forces Manipulating Ethnic Based Militias to Destabilize Ethiopia – American Analyst

July 12, 2022

Addis Ababa, June 26, 2022(Walta) – The ethnic national militias manipulated by dark forces from outside and inside the country want to make sure that Ethiopia is permanently destabilized, an American political-economic analyst told ENA.

Lawrence Freeman strongly argues that the recent massacre against civilians in the Oromia region is a result of ethnic polarization used as a weapon by people inside Ethiopia, governments outside the country, and intentional forces.

“The massacre that occurred against the Amhara in Oromia (Region) is committed by ethnic national groups manipulated from outside of the country and inside the country by dark forces that want to make sure that Ethiopia is permanently destabilized,” the analyst noted.

According to him, the dark forces outside of Ethiopia and inside the country which do not want to see a stable, prosperous, and sovereign Ethiopia have exploited this.

The analyst contends that as a result of a project to destabilize Ethiopia, ethnicity is being manipulated in Ethiopia “because there are political forces that want to weaken Ethiopia and you should not discount the fact,” Freeman pointed out.

Asked about the recent attacks in Wollega against civilians by militias, he responded that foreign forces are using these militias to destabilize the nation.

Given the perspective regarding the recent ethnic-nationalist forces that are being supported by outside and inside enemies of Ethiopia to threaten the country, the analyst pointed out that the third-filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) could be an immediate cause.

“Within weeks ahead, it is going to be the third filling of the Grand Renaissance Dam, which has been opposed not just by Egypt and Sudan but also by the West. This dam produces electricity and could become a game-changer in the Horn of Africa and some people don’t want that to happen. If you have people fighting each other and constant internal conflict, then you have an unstable government that can easily be manipulated for outside political purposes.”

Speaking on the commitment of the Ethiopian government to peace and to solve the conflict in northern Ethiopia, the analyst is doubtful about the seriousness of the terrorist TPLF which demands concessions.

He blamed Western nations and media outlets for their failure to support the government from the outset. They instead supported the TPLF.

He further stated that there is also a belief among the people that those powers might have changed their position now to having a weakened government in Ethiopia.

The ethnic-nationalist terrorists and militia like the OLF-Shene and TPLF are now carrying out these attacks and disruptions which are all intended to weaken the nation-state of Ethiopia, Freeman elaborated.

Ethiopia’s leadership needs to embark on a process, actual discussion on the cultural-political history of Ethiopia and what the nation-state means to citizens of Ethiopia, the analyst recommended.

Freeman explained that it is because right now there has been an eruption of conflicts going on between extremists and various militias based on ethnic identity.

As a strong nation-state is now essential for the continuation of Ethiopian society and its economic development for generations, the government needs to have a much broader approach to this dialogue conception.

“First, people are going to have to discuss the difference between an ethnic grouping and the citizens of the nation. They are fundamentally different since there’s no equality between the ever. The discussion has to be also held throughout the country. The second thing is to unite the people. Ethiopia has a mission for its nation. That would unite people together.”

In his statement about the attack in western Ethiopia, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Tuesday that there is zero-tolerance for horrific acts claiming lives recently in both Benishangul Gumuz and Oromia regions by elements whose main objective is to terrorize communities.

Earlier he told the House of People’s Representatives that his government “wants peace with everyone” and revealed for the first time that “a study committee” has been formed under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen.Tags: Lawrence Freeman)

Watch excerpts of my video interview below on Addis Media Network

Read my unique and provocative analysis in my earlier post: Ethno-nationalism Threatens The Very Existence of The Ethiopian Nation-State

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.